Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has confirmed that South Africans will not be allowed to transport alcohol under the country’s adjusted Level 1 lockdown rules.
During a press briefing on Thursday (April 1), the minister said a police officer would set up roadblocks across the country to enforce the regulations.
“During the weekend, they are not allowed to carry alcohol from one place to another. Today yes, but from midnight today (April 1) until midnight Monday (April 5) they are not allowed.
“You are allowed to sit and drink where you are, in a bar, under strict health protocols.”
She explained that the decision to implement new restrictions on the sale of alcohol is due to the movement of people, which leads to larger gatherings, and the increased transmission of Covid-19.
A gazette published by the minister this week banned the sale of alcohol over the weekend for off-site consumption. However, there is no specific mention of the transport of alcohol.
The gazette gives effect to the national speech delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday evening (March 30), in which he announced that the lockdown rules would be changed for the holiday season.
It specifies that during the Easter period, the sale of alcohol by establishments approved for off-site consumption is prohibited.
The sale of alcohol by an establishment authorized for consumption on site is authorized, subject to strict compliance with the curfew provided for in the regulations.
The consumption of alcohol in public places, except in consumption premises authorized on site, is not permitted.
Anyone who does not comply with these regulations commits an offense and is, on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
For the purposes of these regulations, “ Easter period ” means Friday (April 2, 2021) from 12:01 a.m. to Monday (April 5, 2021) at 11:59 p.m.
The Democratic Opposition Alliance criticized Dlamini-Zuma for the announcement – calling the settlement “ridiculous”.
“This is just another severe restriction imposed by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, which criminalizes ordinary citizens as real crime flourishes.”
“The truth is, more people have been arrested during the pandemic for breaking irrational regulations than there have been vaccinations in South Africa.
“The South African Police Service (SAPS) has often enforced irrational lockdown regulations in a brutal manner, and the DA is very concerned that these regulations could result in police brutality over the long weekend. “
He said the National Coronavirus Command Council should reconsider its goal and repeal this regulation as a matter of urgency.
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